Quiz: Do I Have Narcolepsy?

What Is Narcolepsy

What Is Narcolepsy

What is Narcolepsy?

Quiz: Do I have Narcolepsy?  What is it exactly?  Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by the brain failing to regulate sleep-wake cycles.  For most people, it takes about 90 minutes after falling asleep to reach the first stage of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep which is when we dream and our muscles are paralyzed.  Throughout the night, people alternate between REM and non-REM sleep.  With narcolepsy, REM sleep happens almost immediately and also occurs involuntarily during waking hours.

A common misperception of Narcolepsy is that people with the disorder are excessively sleepy.  However, Narcolepsy does not affect the amount of sleep the person needs, they sleep a normal amount of time in comparison but are unable to control the timing of their sleep.  This is where there are instances of falling asleep at work or school, or while driving.  That is not to say that all people that fall asleep behind the wheel are narcoleptic.

Narcolepsy affects both sexes and typically begins showing significant symptoms in adolescence or early adulthood.  The symptoms tend to gradually get worse over time.  Researchers recently found that there may be a link between Narcolepsy and a hypocretin production deficiency in the brain.  Do you think you may have Narcolepsy?  Ask yourself the questions in the below quiz: Do I have Narcolepsy, answer honestly.  If you answered yes to multiple questions, you may want to talk to your doctor.


Narcolepsy Symptoms

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
    Nap Attack Sitting in Office Chair

    Nap Attack Sitting in Office Chair

    • This is the most common symptom.  A big differentiator between this symptom and those without the disorder is that for Narcolepsy patients, this can occurs even when they’ve gotten a full night’s sleep.
    • They may fall asleep while conversing with others, eating, driving, working, or other inappropriate times.  My son once fell asleep during a conversation sitting at the table in Denny’s while eating meal.
  • Cataplexy
    • Sudden loss of muscle tone (going limp) which can be triggered by emotional stimulation such as laughing, being surprised, or angered.
    • May result in the person collapsing.
    • May only affect certain muscle groups.
    • May cause the knees to buckle.
    • May cause slurred speech.
    • Does not lose consciousness as they sometimes do with seizures.
  • Hypnogogic Hallucinations
    My Son Hiding From Hallucinations

    My Son Hiding From Hallucinations

    • Scary and weird dream-like experiences that happen during the transition from wakefulness to sleep and include the person’s actual environment.
    • My son, when he was in second grade, described this as the items hanging on his walls moving and the family pictures turning into terrifying monster faces.
  • Sleep Paralysis
    • Temporary inability to move while waking up.
    • May last a few seconds to a several minutes.
    • May accompany hallucinations.
  • Disturbed Nocturnal Sleep
    • Inability to sleep through the night, waking up repeatedly.
  • Leg Jerking
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness


Quiz: Do I Have Narcolepsy?

If you suspect you have Narcolepsy, ask yourself the following questions.  Write them down along with your answers.  If you answered yes to multiple questions, start a sleep diary.  In your sleep diary, record the symptoms you experience, when you experienced them, when you slept, how long you slept, what dreams you remember, any hallucinations you experience or paralysis.  Do this for a few weeks and then take it to your doctor.  Your doctor will ask want to know your complete medical history as well as that of your family.  You will likely then be referred to a sleep specialist to begin testing for a sleep disorder.

  1. Do your muscles go limp when you laugh or get excited?
  2. Do you fall asleep in inappropriate places such as work or school?
  3. Are you clumsy or prone to accidents?
  4. Have you had to pull off of the road because you were sleepy?
  5. Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?
  6. Do you have trouble focusing or concentrating?
  7. Do you have vivid dreams as you’re falling asleep?
  8. Do you have vivid dreams as you’re waking up?
  9. Do you fall asleep during movies or at other events such as reunions or parties?
  10. Do you ever feel like you’re paralyzed when in bed?
  11. Do you ever have nap attacks and need to lay down during the day?

Please note, answering yes to multiple questions here does not necessarily indicate that you have Narcolepsy.  It simply indicates that you may have some sleep issues that should be addressed by a sleep specialist.  For example, I experience many of these myself.  I have Sleep Apnea which is not the same as Narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy Treatment

Narcolepsy does not have a known cure.  It can be treated to help the symptoms, though.  Typically, doctors will prescribe stimulant or anti-depressant medications to help treat this disorder.  Behavior Therapy may also be prescribed.  If you’ve taken the above quiz: Do I Have Narcolepsy, and determined that you might, rest assured that there are treatment options that can help your symptoms.  But do talk to your doctor you need an official diagnosis to gain effective treatment options.

Narcolepsy Diagnosis

Narcolepsy Diagnosis

Changes in lifestyle can help reduce some of the symptoms.  Behavior Therapy will help to set the appropriate changes such as taking scheduled naps during the day and not eating heavy meals.  They may also work with you to set a sleep schedule and advise you to strictly adhere to it.  You’ll want to be on a routine exercise and meal schedule free of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.  While not always effective, these practices may help with some of the symptoms of the disorder.

Counseling may also be recommended to help you cope with the disorder.  The general public has many misconceptions of this disorder and it is not widely understood.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told to “make” my son go to sleep.  How do you do that?  I made him go to bed at a certain time each night but I had no way to make him go to sleep without drugging him and I don’t believe in that, in fact, I believe…last I checked…it was a felony to drug people?  Maybe I missed a memo.

Where medications are concerned, there are several different types of medications that may help reduce Narcolepsy symptoms.  Stimulants are used to help eliminate the excessive daytime sleepiness and improve alertness.  Antidepressants can help with the cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.  Sodium oxybate may be prescribed to help induce sleep, reduce daytime sleepiness, reduce cataplexy, and improve disturbed nocturnal sleep.  As with any other medications, the goal is to improve symptoms without significant side effects.  However, before agreeing to and implementing these treatments, be sure that all appropriate testing was done and you feel in your gut that the doctor is correct.  Especially when it comes to your children.  Narcolepsy is yet another medical condition that mimics ADHD symptoms and other neurological conditions.  In my son’s case, he can’t be treated with Narcolepsy medications because that would make his Epilepsy worse.  Therefore, we treat his Narcolepsy with Behavior Therapy only.


Narcolepsy is one of a very long list of medical conditions that has symptoms which mimic ADHD.  The big problem with this is that children with Narcolepsy may go undetected because ADHD medications help some of the symptoms.  This can lead to injury from accidents and heightened fears in your child from the paralysis and hallucinations.

With an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, many narcoleptic people grow up to be very successful individuals.  There have been many:

  • Aaron Flahavan (Soccer Player)
  • Arthur Lowe (Actor)
  • Dr. Claire Allen (Research Scientist with the British Antarctic Survey)
  • Franck Bouyer (French Cyclist)
  • Gabe Barham (Drummer, Percussionist)
  • George Church (Harvard Professor and Molecular Geneticist)
  • Harold M. Ickes (Politician, Lawyer, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton)
  • Harriet Tubman (Abolitionist, Activist, Humanitarian, Union Spy, Writer)
  • Jimmy Kimmel (Comedian, TV Producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, etc.)
  • Jinkx Monsoon (Stage Performer)
  • Kurt Cobain (Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Lead Singer of Nirvana)
  • Lenny Bruce (Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor)
  • Louis Braille (Inventor of Braille)
  • Nastassja Kinski (Model, Actor)
  • Nicole Jeray (Pro Golfer LPGA)
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Editor, Essayist, Teacher, Author nominated for 5 Hugo Awards)
  • Thomas Edison (Entrepreneur, Film Producer, Scientist, Inventor of the Light Bulb, etc.)
  • Winston Churchill (Statesman, Painter, Politician, Journalist, Oretor, etc.)

As always, with accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, narcoleptic individuals can bring an abundance of creativity, compassion, and brilliance to society.  While it’s easy to get caught up in blaming parents, vaccines, or poor decisions for their child’s disabilities, criticizing labels and other methods of raising awareness, and theorizing about healthcare conspiracies, these people are part of our everyday lives and we owe them understanding at the very least.  They give us the same in the best ways they know how.

Raise Awareness

Raise Awareness

Yes, there is an epidemic of misdiagnoses that causes annoyance and frustration surrounding children with ADHD, Narcolepsy, and many other conditions and disabilities.  The problem is that the very labels that society criticizes us for using are the ones that lead to our children getting the help that they desperately need.  Ignorance is bliss.  It’s easy to judge when it’s not your problem.  How about we educate ourselves and raise some awareness instead?  Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Talk soon,


Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Epilepsy Symptoms in Children
Copyright: radiantskies / 123RF Stock Photo

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is commonly known as a condition where a person has unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart.  However, a task force of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) redefined epilepsy in 2005 as “a disease characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition.”  The emphasis here is that a seizure, by itself, is an event whereas epilepsy is a disease involving recurrent unprovoked seizures.

Epilepsy is diagnosed when they have multiple seizures that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.  While typically the cause is completely unknown, epileptic seizures may come from a brain injury or a family history of epilepsy.

People with epilepsy may have one or many different types of seizures and may demonstrate other neurological problems.  Many of the epilepsy symptoms in children mimic that of ADHD, Autism, Tourette Syndrome, and many other neurological disorders.  With epilepsy, though, one’s safety can be significantly impacted so it is vital that an accurate diagnosis be obtained so that the most effective treatment can be implemented.

Types of Seizures

Different Types of Seizures Copyright: rob3000 / 123RF Stock Photo

The Epilepsy Foundation reports that the human brain is the source of all epilepsy.  While the condition may impact several different parts of the body, the electrical events causing the seizure occur in the brain.

A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain caused by complex chemical changes occurring in the nerve cells.  Usually there’s a balance of brain cells that either excite or stop other brain cells from sending messages.  Seizures cause an imbalance between the exciting and stopping activities which causes an imbalance and triggers electrical activity.  How a person’s seizure presents itself is dependent upon which messages were impacted by the seizure activity.


Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

Like most other medical conditions, seizures affect different people in different ways.  Not all seizures are noticeable or stereotypic, meaning they don’t all do what people expect them to do based on historical cases.  Different things can happen during the different phases of a seizure, but again, symptoms vary from person to person.

Also, epilepsy symptoms in children come in a wide variety that closely mimic ADHD and other neurological conditions.  The ADHD type symptoms that parents see may be side effects of other conditions, such as epilepsy.  For example, my son would not sleep through the night for many years and would often come to my bed at night and then would fall asleep in class each day.  A sleep specialist determined he was having hallucinations at night causing fears.  A sleep study found that he was having seizure activity and not reaching REM sleep at all.


Some people can feel a seizure is coming.  They may feel it days or hours before it happens which gives them some opportunity to prepare for it.  Not all epilepsy patients can feel it coming though.  Prodome is considered the beginning of a seizure but it isn’t actually part of the seizure.  This is where a person may experience feelings, sensations, or changes in behavior that may indicate a seizure is coming in the days or hours ahead.  It gives the person an opportunity to find safety, take their medication, or use a rescue treatment to try and prevent the seizure.  An aura is considered the very beginning of the seizure as it is actually part of the seizure.  Not everybody gets auras.  Like prodome, an aura is a feeling, sensation, or change in behavior that is similar each time a seizure occurs.  Auras can often occur without a seizure following and are considered to be a partial seizure.

Common Auras:
  • Headache

    Epilepsy Symptoms

    Epilepsy Symptoms
    Copyright: ralwel / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Smells
  • Sounds
  • Tastes
  • Nausea
  • Dizzy or Lightheaded
  • Fear/Panic
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Strange or Pleasant Feelings/Sensations
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Visual Loss or Blurring
  • Loss of Ability to Speak
  • Deja Vu (a feeling of being there before)
  • Jamais Vu (a feeling that something is very familiar)


The ictal phase, or middle of the seizure, correlates with the electrical activity in the brain.  It begins with the first symptom experienced, including the aura, and lasts until the end of the seizure activity.  The visible symptoms of the seizure may actually last longer than the seizure itself.  These may be aftereffects of the seizure or may be unrelated entirely.

Common Seizure Symptoms:
  • Any symptoms listed for Auras
  • Confusion
  • Memory Lapses or Forgetfulness
  • Daydreaming/Zoning
  • Blackouts/Loss of Awareness
  • Pass outs/Loss of Consciousness
  • Distorted Sounds/Loss of Hearing
  • Unusual Smells (i.e. Burning Rubber)
  • Unusual Tastes
  • Loss of Vision/Blurriness
  • Flashing Lights
  • Visual Hallucinations
  • Feeling Detached/Out of Body Sensations
Common Physical Symptoms:
  • Automatisms
    • Repeated Non-Purposeful Movements
      • Chewing
      • Dressing
      • Lip Smacking
      • Running
      • Undressing
      • Walking
      • Waving
  • Convulsions
    • Loss of Consciousness
    • Body Becomes Rigid/Tense
    • Fast Jerking Movements
  • Loss of Movement or Muscle Tone
    Epilepsy Symptoms in Children

    Epilepsy Symptoms
    Copyright: AlienCat / 123RF Stock Photo

    • Head may fall forward
    • Body may slump or fall
  • Rapid Blinking or Staring
    • Eyes may roll, look sideways, or look upward
  • Speech Difficulties
    • Garbled Speech
    • Nonsense Talk
    • Abrupt Stop to Talking
  • Tremors
    • Twitching or Jerking Movements
      • Arms
      • Legs
      • One/Both Sides of Face
      • Whole Body
      • May start in one place and spread
      • May stay in one place
  • Rigid Muscles
    • May fall suddenly
  • Drooling/Unable to Swallow
  • Sudden Loss of Urine/Stool
  • Sweating
  • Loss of Skin Tone
    • Looks Pale or Flushed
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Clenched Teeth
  • Biting Tongue
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Breathing Difficulty


The postictal phase, or end of the seizure, consists of the recovery period.  How long this period lasts and what symptoms occur depend on the type of seizure and which part of the brain it impacted.  This varies from person to person.

Common Post-Seizure Symptoms:
  • Anxiousness
  • Confusion
  • Delayed Response
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion

  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Headache
  • Injury from Falling
  • Lightheadedness
  • Memory Lapses
  • Nausea
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Sleepiness
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

Epilepsy Treatment

Often, the first step to treating epilepsy is through medication.  This is the most common method of treatment to control or prevent seizures.  Many different anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) help control seizures and you and the doctor will discuss types of seizures and other factors in order to pick the most beneficial for you and your circumstances.  Be sure to always talk to your doctor before starting a stopping a medicine as this can cause very severe seizures that can lead to death.

You will also want to learn about seizure first aid.  Basic seizure first aid will help you determine what actions to take when you or someone you know is having a seizure in order to be safe and comfortable.  Knowing these steps could save a life.

Epilepsy Diagnosis

Epilepsy Diagnosis
Copyright: designer491 / 123RF Stock Photo

When medication does not effectively control seizures, and more than one medication has been tried, doctors may consider surgery as the next treatment option.  Like AEDs, there is no guarantee that the surgery will control the seizures so the doctors will work with you to weigh the benefits against the risks of doing surgery.

Dietary Therapy may also be considered to try to help control seizures.  Specifically, a Ketogenic diet or the modified Atkins diet have been shown to be effective.

There are new devices being developed to help control and prevent seizures, such as Responsive Neurostimulation and Vagus Nerve Stimulation.  There are also seizure alerting devices to help detect seizures for those that don’t have the more obvious symptoms during seizures.

Herbal Therapy and Medical Marijuana are currently being investigated for treatment of epilepsy.

Cause of Epilepsy

In many cases, a cause for epilepsy cannot be found.  There are two primary types of seizures: generalized seizures and partial seizures.

Generalized Seizures: These types of seizures affect both sides of the brain at the same time.  Doctors believe hereditary factors play a role in these types of seizures.

Partial Seizures:  These types of seizures affect only a limited area of the brain.  For example, my son’s seizures affect only his left frontal lobe.  There are many causes for partial seizures, though may not always be identified.  Genetic factors may play a role in these types of seizures.

Epilepsy Conclusion

Epilepsy Conclusion
Copyright: tashatuvango / 123RF Stock Photo

Common Causes:
  • Brain Infection
  • Brain Injury
  • Cortical Displasias
  • Stroke
  • Tumor



It is so easy to get ADHD diagnosed, that children are often receiving the incorrect diagnosis and being ineffectively treated and/or medicated without further evaluation.

Epilepsy is one of a very long list of medical conditions that has symptoms which mimic ADHD.  The big problem with this is that children with ADHD are treated with medications that tend to make seizure disorders worse.  Stimulant medications are a definite no-no with Epilepsy as they tend to cause seizures.

With an accurate diagnosis and effective seizure control, many epileptic people grow up to be very successful individuals.  There have been many:

  • Agatha Christie (Writer)
  • Alexander the Great (Ancient Greek King)
  • Alfred the Great (Anglo-Saxon King)
  • Alfred Nobel (Swedish Chemist, Engineer, Innovator, Manufacturer, and Inventor)
  • Aristotle (Greek Philosopher)
  • Bud Abbott (Producer, Comedian, Actor)
  • Chanda Gunn (Ice Hockey Player)
  • Charles Dickens (Novelist)
  • Charles V of Spain (Ruler of Holy Roman Empire)
  • Danny Glover (Actor)
  • DJ Hapa (Executive Director)
  • Edgar Allen Poe (Author and Literary Critic)
  • Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian Writer and Essayist)
  • George Frederick Handel (Composer)
  • Hannibal (Military Commander and Tactician)
  • Hector Berliouz (French Romantic Composer)
  • Hugo Weaving (Film, Stage, and Voice actor)
  • Isaac Newton (Scientist)
  • James Madison (POTUS)
  • Julius Caesar
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (Architect, Botanist, Musician, Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Inventor, Painter, Writer, etc.)
  • Lewis Carrol (English Author, Photographer, Mathematician, Anglican Clergyman, Logician)
  • Lord Byron
  • Louis XIII of France (King)
  • Margaux Hemmingway (Model and Film Actress)
  • Martin Luther (German Monk, Theologian, and Church Reformer)
  • Michelangelo (Sculptor)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte (French Military and Political Leader)
  • Neil Young (Musician)
  • Nicolo Paganini (Italian Violinist, Violist, Guitarist, and Composer)
  • Paul I of Russia (Emperor)
  • Peter Tchaikovsky (Russian Composer)
  • Peter the Great
  • Pythagoras (Greek Philosopher)
  • Richard Burton (Actor)
  • Robert Schumann (German Composer)
  • Sir Walter Scott (Scottish Historical Novelist and Poet)
  • Socrates (Greek Philosopher)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (Soldier, Historian, Explorer, Naturalist, Author, Governor, POTUS)
  • Truman Capote (Writer)
  • Vincent van Gogh (Artist)

Clearly, with accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, epileptic individuals can bring an abundance of creativity, compassion, and brilliance to society.  While it’s easy to get caught up in blaming parents, vaccines, or poor decisions for their child’s disabilities, criticizing labels and other methods of raising awareness, and theorizing about healthcare conspiracies, these people are part of our everyday lives and we owe them understanding at the very least.  They give us the same in the best ways they know how.

Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy Awareness
Copyright: tzeyrek / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, there is an epidemic of misdiagnoses that causes annoyance and frustration surrounding children with ADHD, Epilepsy, and many other conditions and disabilities.  The problem is that the very labels that society criticizes us for using are the ones that lead to our children getting the help that they desperately need.  Ignorance is bliss.  It’s easy to judge when it’s not your problem.  How about we educate ourselves and raise some awareness instead?  Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Talk soon,


Sensory Processing Disorder – Toddlers

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing Disorder

What is it?
Copyright: lwphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) used to be called Sensory Integration (DSI) Dysfunction.  It causes sensory signals to not get organized into appropriate motor responses and behaviors when the sensory messages are received by the nervous system.  In other words, the sensory messages are misinterpreted by the nervous system.

A study done by the SPD Foundation found that 5% to 10% of children without other disabilities experience SPD while it is prevalent in 40% to 88% of children with various other disabilities.  It is believed that there may be a relationship between Sensory Processing Disorder and the atypical behaviors associated with pervasive developmental disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Fragile X Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.

The study also found that while symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder overlap with other conditions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in particular, the empirical data in the study proves that the two conditions are completely distinct from each other.

Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) p. 249 – 250 by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR lists ten research-supported statements about SPD:

  1. It is a complex disorder of the brain affecting both adults and developing children.
  2. Tools used to identify children with the disorder include: parent surveys, clinical assessments, and laboratory protocols.
  3. The prevalence of SPD in the general population is at least 1 in 20 people.
  4. The occurrence of SPD in children who are gifted and those with ADHD, Autism, and fragile X syndrome is much higher than that of the rest of the general population.
  5. A significant difference has been found between the physiology of typically developing children and those with SPD.
  6. Likewise, a significant difference has ben found between the physiology of children with ADHD and those with SPD.
  7. The disorder has unique sensory symptoms unexplained by other known disorders.
  8. Heredity could be one cause of the disorder.
  9. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of children with SPD are not functioning typically, according to laboratory studies.
  10. The theory that Occupational Therapy is an effective intervention for treating SPD symptoms is supported by preliminary research data and decades of anecdotal evidence.


Symptoms of SPD

Much like other developmental disabilities, the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder vary from person to person, as well as age group.  A person may experience only some symptoms and at varying intensities.  Additionally, symptoms tend to vary by age group:

Infants & Toddlers:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Refusal to go to people other than parents
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Discomfort in clothing
  • Lack of toy play
  • Difficulty shifting from one activity to another (Resistance to change)
  • Slow to respond to pain or injury
  • Resistant to physical affection or cuddling
  • Unable to calm self with pacifier, toys, etc.
  • Poor balance or clumsiness
  • Little or no babbling or vocalizing
  • Easily startled
  • Extremely active (constantly moving)
  • Delays crawling, standing, walking or running


  • Difficulty potty training
  • Overreacts or overly sensitive to stimulation (touch, nose, smells, tastes, etc.)
  • Unaware of being touched or bumped
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills (fastening buttons, using crayons, eating with utensils, etc.)
  • Clumsy and awkward (unsure how to move body in relation to space)
  • In constant motion
  • Touches everything around them
  • Gets in other people’s personal space
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Overly aggressive or passive and withdrawn
  • Difficulty with transition
  • Difficult to calm, intense
  • Unexpected temper tantrums or mood changes
  • Seems inappropriately weak, slumps or slouches
  • Speech is difficult to understand
  • Difficulty understanding verbal instructions

School Age:

  • Overly sensitive to stimulation (touch, noise, smells, taste, etc.)
  • Easily distracted in the classroom
  • Fidgety or squirmy, in constant motion
  • Easily overwhelmed in social settings (Recess, playground, classroom, etc.)
  • Slow to perform tasks
  • Difficulty with motor tasks (handwriting, tying shoes, etc.)
  • Clumsy, stumbles often, slouches
  • Craves wrestling and rough housing
  • Slow to learn new activities
  • Difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/withdrawn)
  • Hyper-focuses on one task, difficulty transitioning
  • Confuses similar sounding words (misinterprets questions/requests)
  • Difficulty reading (especially out loud)
  • Stumbles with words, speech lacks fluency, hesitant rhythm

Adolescence & Adulthood:

  • Over-sensitive to environmental stimulation (not liking to be touched)
  • Avoids visually stimulating environments and/or sensitivity to sounds
  • Slow and/or lethargic starting the day
  • Often begins new tasks at one time and leaves many unfinished
  • Uses inappropriate amount of force handling objects
  • Clumsy, bumps into things, unexplained bruises
  • Difficulty learning new motor tasks or sequencing steps of a task
  • Needs physical activities to help maintain focus throughout the day
  • Difficulty staying focused at work or in meetings
  • Requires more clarification than usual, misinterprets questions and requests
  • Difficulty reading, especially out loud
  • Stumbles over words, speech lacks fluency
  • Must read material multiple times to absorb the content
  • Difficulty forming thoughts and ideas in oral presentations


Diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Diagnosis

How is SPD Diagnosed?
Copyright: designer491 / 123RF Stock Photo

SPD identification typically starts with a screening by an Occupational Therapist.  In my son’s case, his pediatrician referred us to the Occupational Therapist due to his delayed motor skills.  I sat in the lobby and filled out the parent checklist while the therapist evaluated my son.

She was able to tell me that day that he certainly had sensitivities to audio and tactile sensory input.  Of course, she would need to review the results of her evaluation and would be in touch.  Her highly detailed 9 page report on the results confirmed SPD.  We started occupational therapy immediately.

Sometimes the evaluation may warrant additional evaluations.  But often times, the Occupational Therapist is able to make the determination using standardized assessment tools.  These tools often include:

  • Bruinlinks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency – Second Edition
  • Goal Oriented Assessment of Life Skills (GOAL)
  • Miller Assessment for Preschoolers (MAP)
  • Miller Function and Participation Scales (MFUN)
  • Movement Assessment Battery for Children – Second Edition (Movement ABC-2)
  • Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT)


SPD Treatment

As with Autism and ADHD, early intervention is important with SPD.  The symptoms of the disorder are not manageable by the child, the parents, the teachers, or anybody else alone.  Children often come across as different, weird, or awkward as a result.

Unfortunately, most children are not taught that everybody is unique and that they shouldn’t judge those that are different.  As a result, children with disabilities such as SPD, Autism, ADHD, etc. tend to be made fun of or negatively labeled as difficult, problem children or badly behaved children.

Sensory Labels

Build a Support System

These negative labels placed on children does cause years of suffering needlessly, exacerbates their already low self-confidence and self-esteem which steers them further and further down the rabbit hole.  Labels such as hyper, weird, aggressive, withdrawn, and different only adds to the child’s feelings of failure from not being able to do what other kids can do effortlessly (such as tying their shoes or riding a bike).

By getting an accurate diagnosis and beginning early intervention, we can provide the correct labeling for their “unusual” behaviors and help to stop the undeserved judging, stereotyping, and punishing of behaviors that they are simply unable to control.

We are able to help these children gain understanding and empathy from people and all around better treatment by giving them a positive label that identifies that the behaviors are due to an undesired and uninvited neurological condition.  It’s not the child’s fault, and it’s not the parent’s fault.

Early intervention also allows treatment to begin early on in life, while the child’s brain is still developing.  This lessons the impact of the disorder on the child later on in life.  It allows both the parents and the child to understand certain behaviors so that they can learn appropriate coping skills and reduce the stress caused by such behaviors.

If you have a child that seems to be displaying one or more of these symptoms, talk to your child’s pediatrician quickly.  Early diagnosis and intervention will help get your baby understand what is happening with them and why they are sensational.  If you have children that don’t have these symptoms, please educate your child on invisible disabilities and teach them to be accepting and understanding of those different than the norm.

Lastly, don’t be so quick to dismiss labels on children.  Remember that there is a huge difference between negative labels and medical labels.  The medical diagnosis that you might consider a label just might be the exact thing a child needs in order to get the help that they deserve.

If you’d like to help me raise some awareness on these “invisible” conditions that are often largely misunderstood, please hit share and get the word out.

Talk soon,


Autism – Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


What is Autism?
Copyright: radiantskies / 123RF Stock Photo

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that typically appears in early childhood.  It is characterized by a certain set of behaviors that affects people in various ways and varying degrees in regards to interaction with others and ability to communicate.

According to the ADDM autism prevalence report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 68 births in the United States is affected by ASD.  Children can be evaluated and diagnosed with the disorder as early as age 2, however most are not diagnosed until after four years of age.

While many disagree with putting labels on children, especially at such a young age, the proper diagnosis and treatment of conditions like Autism and ADHD opens opportunities for the nation to learn how to serve families and children affected by these disabilities.  That is, while you may see it as a label, I see it as another justification for scientists and researchers to continue testing theories and finding ways to help our children live somewhat of a happy, healthy life… in spite of their disabilities.

Autism Awareness

It’s not just a label!
Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

The Autism Society estimates that the costs for autism in the United States, per year, is almost $90 billion dollars.  That’s ten zeros, folks.  These funds go toward medical research, insurance costs, uncovered medical expenses, Medicaid wavers, educational expenses, counseling and other therapies, housing, caregiver expenses, transportation, and employment.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics found that expenses for people with autism alone range from $1.4 million to $2.4 million for those who may also have intellectual disability.  That is, the lifetime cost of caring for JUST ONE person with autism can top $2.4 million.

These costs include everything from medical treatment, school support, therapies, employment accommodations, and lost wages from the patient’s and caregiver’s struggles to maintain employment.  The biggest contributors to such a high price tag, according to the study, include special education costs, housing during adulthood, and indirect costs such as lost productivity.  It is believed that early interventions that are specifically aimed at helping adults with autism and approaches early on in may help reduce the need for long-term care.

Autism Piece

True Gifts to Humankind
Copyright: greatnotions / 123RF Stock Photo

Like ADHD, there is no cure and people don’t outgrow it, but symptoms are treatable.  Individuals with Autism may exhibit any combination of symptoms while not necessarily all of them.  Some symptoms may be more intense than others.  Early diagnosis (labeling) and intervention lead to much more improved outcomes as individuals with ASD reach adulthood.  For this reason, the CDC encourages that we know the signs and act early.  The symptoms of autism can worsen without early intervention.


Symptoms of Autism

  • No babbling or cooing by 12 months
  • No gesturing by 12 months (e.g., pointing, waving, grasping, etc.)
  • No single words said by 16 months
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months
  • Any loss of language or social skill at any age
  • Difficulty making and/or maintaining eye contact
  • Difficulty maintaining conversation
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Delays in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language mannerisms (e.g., hissing, growling, etc.)
  • Repetitive use of motor mannerisms (e.g., rocking, tapping, twirling objects, flapping hands, etc.)
  • Difficulty with executive functioning
  • Difficulty with reasoning and planning
  • Intense interests
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Poor motor skills
  • Persistent fixation on specific parts of objects


Autism Treatment

ASD is very complex and treatment options for the condition are not equal.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to treating Autism, just like there isn’t for ADHD.  The symptoms vary from person to person and in varying degrees of intensity, so the treatment plan must be aimed at the strengths and weaknesses of each individual person.  It is important to remember that there is no cure, the treatments are aimed at addressing many of the challenges and symptoms associated with the condition.  The overall goal of any treatment option for Autism is to improve the quality of life for that individual.

Autism Help

It Takes a Village
Copyright: greatnotions / 123RF Stock Photo

In order to select the appropriate treatment approach, the family should first consult with the child’s medical team.  This may include a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychologist, speech therapist, learning consultant, occupational therapist, and any other professional knowledgeable on ASD.  The family and medical team can then try a combination of approaches in regards to education, vocational training, community living options, and support systems until they find what works most effectively for that individual.


Cause of Autism

While a single known cause of ASD has not been identified, it has been commonly accepted that abnormalities in brain structure or function are the cause of the disorder.  Differences in the brain’s shape or function have been identified in brain scans of patients with Autism.  Researchers are investigating links to heredity, medical problems, and genetics.

Autism Causes

Quit Trying to Blame Parents!
Copyright: mattz90 / 123RF Stock Photo

Some theories being researched hypothesize that problems during pregnancy and/or delivery or other environmental factors may be related.  These might include exposure to chemicals, viral infections, or metabolic imbalances.  In fact, a new epidemiological study from Sweden came out in December 2015 finding that “exposure to sex hormones early in life may be important to the development of autism in both sexes” which means that there is a higher risk of developing ASD for children born to mothers with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  I’m thinking this debunks the myths about anxiety levels and bad parenting cause these “behavioral” problems in children.

Other medical conditions that may create a high risk, based on the frequency of autism development related to these conditions, are:

  • Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Untreated Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Genetic theories are based on a pattern of Autism or other related disabilities running in families.  Irregular segments of genetic code are being sought after by researchers, though no single gene has been identified.  Some believe that it is related to an unstable cluster of genes may be interfering with brain development under certain conditions.



It is so easy to get ADHD diagnosed, that children are often receiving the incorrect diagnosis and being ineffectively treated and/or medicated without further evaluation.  Autism is one of a very long list of medical conditions that has symptoms which mimic ADHD.  The big problem with this is that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders need early intervention.  Treatment needs to start right away in order to help them function more effectively.  Treating them for ADHD instead may help some of the symptoms, but it hinders medical evaluations that could allow medical professionals to make an accurate diagnosis and delay much needed intervention.

Autism PeopleEarly intervention is key for Autistic children to learn how to thrive in a society that very much misunderstands them, in educational and social environments which don’t naturally accommodate their needs.  With an accurate diagnosis and early intervention, many autistic people grow up to be very successful individuals.  There have been many:

  • 50 Tyson (Rapper and Autism Activist)
  • Albert Einstein
  • Alexis Wineman (Miss Montana)
  • Alonzo Clemons (Clay Sculptor)
  • Amadeus Mozart
  • Amanda Baggs (Autism Advocate)
  • Andy Warholl
  • Bhumi Jensen
  • Birger Sellin (Author)
  • Caiseal Mor (Author, Musician, Artist)
  • Charles Darwin
  • Christopher Knowles (Poet)
  • Courtney Love (Frontwoman of Hole)
  • Daniel Tammet (British Autistic Savant)
  • Daryl Hannah (Actress)
  • Derek Paravicini (Blind Musician)
  • Dylan Scott Pierce (Wildlife Illustrator)
  • Elisabeth Hughes (Author)
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Evgeny Kissin (Russian Pianist)
  • Gary Numan (Singer and Songwriter)
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Henriett Seth F. (Autistic Savant, Poet, Writer and Artist)
  • Hikari Oe (Japanese Composer)
  • Isaac Newton
  • James Durbin (American Idol Front-runner)
  • James Hobley (British Dancer)
  • James Henry Pullen (British Carpenter)
  • Jason McElwain (Basketball Player)
  • Jessica-Jane Applegate (Paralympic Swimmer)
  • Jim Sinclair (Autism Rights Activist)
  • Jonathan Jayne (American Idol Contestant)
  • Jonathan Lerman (American Artist)
  • Leslie Lemke (Blind American Musician)
  • Luca Brecel (Belgian Professional Snooker Player)
  • Lucy Blackman (Educated Author)
  • Marty Balin (Singer and Songwriter)
  • Matthew Laborteaux (Actor)
  • Matt Savage (Jazz Prodigy)
  • Michelangelo
  • Michelle Dawson (Autism Researcher and Rights Activist)
  • Peter Tork (Musician)
  • Richard Wawro (Scottish Artist)
  • Stephen Wiltshire (Architectural Artist)
  • Temple Grandin (Systems Designer and Author)
  • Thristan Mendoz (Marimba Prodigy)
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Tito Mukhopadhyay (Author, Poet, Philopher)
  • Todd Hodgetts (Paralympic Shot Putter)
  • Tony DeBlois (Blind American Musician)
  • Vincent Philip D’Onofrio  (Actor, Director, Film Producer, Writer, Singer)

Clearly, with accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, autistic individuals can bring an abundance of creativity, compassion, and brilliance to society.  While it’s easy to get caught up in blaming parents for their child’s disabilities, criticizing labels and other methods of raising awareness, and theorizing about healthcare conspiracies, these people are part of our everyday lives and we owe them understanding at the very least.  They give us the same in the best ways they know how.

Autism Awareness

Help Raise Awareness
Copyright: splinex / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, there is an epidemic of misdiagnoses that causes annoyance and frustration surrounding children with ADHD, Autism, and many other conditions and disabilities.  The problem is that the very labels that society criticizes us for using are the ones that lead to our children getting the help that they desperately need.  Ignorance is bliss.  It’s easy to judge when it’s not your problem.  How about we educate ourselves and raise some awareness instead?  Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Talk soon,


There Are ADHD Symptoms In Adults Too? Really?

Yes!  Really!  In fact, about 4% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD…that’s about 10 million people!  But that’s just the people that have been diagnosed.  There are tons of adults out there with ADHD that have not been formally diagnosed.  Many that possibly don’t realize they have it.  Many, like myself, probably just think they’re…different.  When I was growing up, ADHD was just starting to be really researched and there weren’t that many kids that were diagnosed with it in comparison to today.  They were just seen as bad kids.  (Just ask my mom!)  😉  If you think about it, who takes their child to the Pediatrician and says, “I just can’t get her to clean her room!”  Normally, parents wouldn’t put the two together.  So today, there are many adults that have ADHD and weren’t ever diagnosed as a child.

Okay, so…if there are ADHD symptoms in adults…what are they?  How can you tell?  I read somewhere that ADHD adults tend to have lower incomes.  This isn’t a symptom, by the way, just a bit of knowledge.  It may be true that the standard is that ADHD adults have lower in comes, I can’t speak to that really.  My suspicion would be that they have lower incomes because of trouble keeping jobs.  That’s just a guess though.  I have Adult ADHD and I do not have a low income.  I also read that adults have a higher rate of accidents.  Well…I’m not sure if they were referring to car accidents or just accidents in general.  I’ve been involved in 3 car accidents in the entire 18 years that I’ve been driving.  I wouldn’t consider that a lot by any standards.  However, I cut my finger, stub my toe, drop stuff, run into walls, trip, knock stuff over…ALL THE TIME!  And each time, it’s purely accidental, I promise.  Just today I spilled half a bowl of hot chili all over my hand, the table, and the floor.  (Sorry Mom!)  Oops.  My brain was looking at one bowl and trying to set it down without spilling it while my other hand was holding a second bowl and spilling it everywhere.  See how that works?  ADHD.  Gotta love it!  The other bowl was out of sight…out of mind.

I’ve heard that ADHD adults tend to have unplanned pregnancies.  Well, I have one child.  He wasn’t planned around the time that I got pregnant because by that time I had given up on having children.  It was about 3 years prior to that when we were planning on getting pregnant.  So…I don’t think this really applies to me.  There is also a tendency for substance abuse problems in ADHD adults.  Okay, let’s be real here.  I do have a substance abuse problem.  I absolutely have to have my Mountain Dew everyday.  Period.  It’s my coffee.  I wouldn’t say I can’t live without it…but there’s a good chance people wouldn’t want me to.  Okay, on a serious note, I will say that when I was 19…I drank…heavily.  I was in the military and I was stationed overseas and miserable.  But then one morning, during that year, I woke up in my bed fully clothed, feeling like a train wreck, and couldn’t remember how I got there.  I haven’t drank since.

So anyway…what are the ADHD symptoms for adults?


RestlessYeah…this is a big one for me.  In children, hyperactivity is noticed by constant movement, lots of energy.  ADHD kids tend to run, jump around, and climb on things constantly.  My son was forever climbing on things.  He still does sometimes.  It’s also seen when they are in school.  They squirm or fidget a lot in their seats.  But for adults, it’s a little bit different.  It’s more like the inability to sit still.  When I’m laying down, my foot is shaking back and forth at a hundred miles an hour.  When I’m sitting down, my knee is bouncing up and down at a hundred miles an hour.  When I’m watching a movie, I get up several times, reposition several times, or just go to sleep.  I can’t just sit there and do nothing.  I’m restless, always.


ADHD Children

Child with ADHD

It’s true.  In many cases, adults with ADHD find out they have it when their child is diagnosed with it.  Why is that?  Well, because it’s fairly new research.  I mentioned before, when I was growing up, you didn’t see a lot of kids being diagnosed with ADHD.  And yet, I was diagnosed with it by my son’s Pediatrician…the same day he was diagnosed with it.  ADHD is a hereditary condition.  If your child has it, there’s a high likelihood that either you or your spouse has it as well.


Relationship Problems

Relationship ProblemsCheck.  I’m divorced.  Go figure.  There’s a lot of reasons and ways that relationships problem occur with ADHD adults.  I’ll speak to mine because that’s the experience that I have.  One of the biggest issues when I was married was that the two of us rarely spent quality time together.  As much as I would like to say we would have if we got along more often, I don’t think that would be true.  My ex-husband was into watching movies, watching TV, sports, typical man stuff.  He would get super frustrated with me because I wouldn’t sit down to watch anything with him very often.  Remember that restlessness thing?  Yeah.  Totally.  It’s the inattentive thing.  We would talk and my mind would go off in 50 other directions and it would make him mad.  It comes across as self-centered and lack of interest.  Oops.  Sorry!  Really can’t help it.



SmokingTobacco.  It’s estimated that 26% of the U.S. population smokes…how about 40% of ADHD adults?  Yep.  Really.  There’s a reason for that.  Nicotine is highly effective in the focus and concentration area.  I’ve been a smoker for 22 years.  I’m ashamed to admit that.  But it’s true.  I hate that it affects my son.  And I hate that it’s unhealthy.  But I do enjoy it.  I’ve tried to quit several times.  My next quit date is set for January 1, 2014.  Not because it doesn’t help, but because my son really wants me to quit.  And I really do enjoy breathing.  I kind of rely on the ability to breathe.  So I must quit.  And I will.  At any rate, that’s why smoking is more prevalent in ADHD adults.  It helps with concentrating.


Academic Problems As A Child

Academic ProblemsDoes coloring in class during high school history count as an academic problem?  I suppose not.  But I’m sure skipping almost every day of my Junior and Senior year probably is.  I skipped a lot in middle school too.  But I didn’t skip high school history because he let me color.  (Thanks Mr. Bixler!)  And you know, I retained so much more knowledge in that class.  Passed the tests even!  My teachers may not have recognized me when I went to class, but I passed the classes because I had no problem doing the work.  I just couldn’t stand sitting through class and being scolded for falling asleep, bouncing my leg, tapping my pencil, throwing my test tubes (that detention was awful!), etc.  My grades were inconsistent.  I was never really a straight A student.  I would make A’s and B’s one semester and D’s and F’s the next.  I did make honors a couple of times though. Yay me!


Procrastination Mastery

ProcrastinationCheck.  Yep, that’s me!  (Just ask my mom)  “How many times have I told you to clean your room?”  “I WILL!”  Hey…that wasn’t my fault…she didn’t set a deadline.  Totally her fault!  Oh and at work…I never start a task when it’s assigned.  I start it either the day before or the day of it being due.  (My mom’s reading this right now and I’m sure she just laughed a little and shook her head!)  But you know what, the quality of my work is over the top compared to anybody else I work with.  I’ve earned “exceptional performer” status 4 years in a row now” and there’s nothing my boss ever has to tell me about my performance other than “Keep up the good work.”  Not to brag or anything, but I got the procrastination thing mastered.  Another example, my doctor ordered lab work for me back in August…I wonder if they’ll still let me do it in January?  Oops.  The thing is, ADHD adults focus better when the pressure is on to get it done.  That’s just the way it is.


Stimulation Seeking


Yeah…okay so it’s said that ADHD adults are known to get involved in highly stimulating activities.  This could be gambling, love affairs, driving fast, skydiving, etc.  This can be a source of job problems too, which we’ll talk about a bit later.  I can’t say I’m much of a thrill seeker.  I do have a tendency to drive fast though.  And I do like challenging things that test my limits.  I don’t jump off of anything unless it’s only a few feet off the ground.  If I had easy access to gambling, I would probably do that…a lot!  Love affairs…not so much.  I try to stay out of situations that would cause high anxiety.  That would be one of them.


Losing Things

Losing ThingsYep.  Totally.  Some doctors call it an “underpowered state of awareness.”  When you’re not focused on setting your keys down, your memory doesn’t write it into the event log, so there’s no record of it.  This also ties into being organized…which is not something ADHD adults are often accused of.  But we’ll talk about that more in a bit.  I lose things when I don’t make a mental note of them when I set them down.  I remember where things are by scanning through my photographic memory and pulling out the picture that has the tag line titled whatever it was that I was setting down at the time.  True story.  A little self discipline helps with this.  I don’t lose my keys because I make it a point to set them down in the same place, every time.  Same for my phone.


Quick Tempered

Quick temperedThis is not to be mistaken for “hot tempered.”  With ADHD adults, the temper is quick.  For example, I can be irate and yelling one minute and then be cool and calm the next.  Personally, I think this is a good trait to have.  However, this symptom can often represent Bipolar disorder.  In fact, ADHD and Bipolar are often mixed up.  I’m very careful with this because both of them run in my family.  However, I don’t have the full on mood swings and anxiety and stuff.  And I’m a classic ADHD case.  My son is as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I can get mad and stay mad if it’s something that means a lot.  But, for example, when I’m mad at my son…I can yell at him in one breath and then love up on him the next.  I don’t stay mad long.


Task Completion…or lack thereof

Completing TasksIt’s true, ADHD adults tend to have trouble completing tasks.  I refer to it as the “begun and never done” pile.  I have tons of examples of this.  I enjoy crafting.  I started decorating candles and I expressed interest (to my mom) about learning how to make candles.  So for Christmas last year, she bought me a complete candle making set.  One day I’ll take it all out of the bag.  (Sorry Mom!)  I have a total of five blogs…that I rarely ever post to.  When I do, it’s in spurts that last a few days or so.  I created a movie for my family this year and made 13 copies to give to specific family members for Christmas.  Today is the 14th of December and the movie was finished in October.  I have a week and a half left to wrap them and ship them.  (Yikes!)  And there they sit.



Impulsive Shopping

Guilty!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to rob Peter to pay Paul simply because I bought something on the fly before thinking it through.  I’m definitely an impulsive shopper.  Aside from that, my impulsiveness really shines through when I’m angry.  I’ll tell someone off quick like if they strike that anger switch.  And then later I’ll regret everything I said…because I’m vicious.  But it’s very rare that I get that angry.



No Relaxation

Can't relaxAnd by no, I mean none, unable to, almost impossible.  For real.  Many adults with ADHD would find it impossible to do something like meditate.  I’ve tried…and failed miserably.  The problem is that relaxation and meditation requires the mind to be quiet.  And it’s not.  When I try to relax, my brain goes to all of the things I should be doing instead or oooh a butterfly!, oh I left the lawn mower out and it’s going to rain, let me go put that in…oops it made a mess on the patio, let me just sweep that up real quick…I need to remember to call about the warranty on the vacuum cleaner, speaking of warranties…the truck needs an oil change…see how this works?  Relaxation doesn’t happen, no matter how hard we try.  I’ve found that I suddenly start to remember things…while I’m failing to relax.



ButterflyRemember that butterfly?  So let me walk you through a typical day of house cleaning.  The kitchen is a mess.  I go in and rinse out my soda can to put it in the recycling.  I take it out to the garage and throw it in the recycling bin.  Oh look!  There’s the squigee I was looking for last week!  I pick it up and clean the windows on the truck like I wanted to do last week.  Open the door of the truck to put the squigee away.  Wow man, the truck is a mess.  I grab my son’s toys from the truck and take them up to his room.  Look at all that laundry!  I get the laundry and take it downstairs to start washing.  I turn the washer on.  What was I doing again?  I don’t remember but I need to water the plants…  Now here’s the thing about ADHD, white noise tunes the brain out.  If I would’ve remembered to turn the stereo on first, the kitchen would’ve gotten clean.  But that wasn’t on the task list.


Problems at Work

Trouble on the jobADHD adults often have problems at work because of a lot of the symptoms I’ve listed here.  Disorganization, losing things, procrastination, restlessness, getting distracted…they can all affect job performance.  I’ve taught myself how to accomplish what needs to be done in spite of all of these.  However, there is one that has plagued me in the past.  Repetitive tasks.  When I started the job I’m currently at, my job was to sit and take phone calls…all day…every day.  I didn’t last three months.  It drove me absolutely bonkers to do that.  I need stimulation, remember?  It was so mundane.  So I worked my way out of that position, within the first three months on the job.  My first promotion got me into a position where there were real challenges and a lot of different and somewhat interesting things that needed to be tackled.  And here I am, 5 years later, in the same position…accepting new challenges but taking no phone calls.



Desk RightDesk 1

Remember those keys?  They are actually in the picture on the left.  So is the Christmas lights timer that my mom gave me two weeks ago.  And a book I started reading last year…and haven’t finished yet.  This is my desk.  This is how it looks as I type this post.  Obviously it’s disorganized.  But it’s functional.  I know exactly where everything is on it.  And to the right is the other side of my desk.  The Pop Tart box has been there for about a month and a have (don’t ask me why).  And that shirt was from when I got home from work on Monday…two weeks ago.  I clean off my desk once a month.


So there you have it…those are the ADHD symptoms that adults have to learn to live with.  Personally, I find ways of coping with each.  Such as setting my keys down in the same place every time.  Because I know if I don’t, I’m searching the entire house for them.  I found my debit card in the trash once.  I have no idea how it got there.   It’s kind of crazy.  I really wish there was a way for people without ADHD to live for just one day in the shoes of someone who does.  Otherwise, it’s real hard to understand.  ADHD is a neurological disorder.  It’s a wiring issue in the brain.  It’s not something we can really change.  All we can do is accept it and teach ourselves how to be successful despite the disorder.  I’ve done that.  I’m successful for the most part.  Therefore, I want to share with those that may be struggling to find their own way with the disorder.  That’s why I’m here.

So if you can relate to this post and you have some questions or just want to say, “Yeah! That’s exactly what I go through!”  Please do leave a comment and share your own experience.



If you have any questions or would like to share your personal experience, please be sure to leave a comment below by clicking on the response link next to my name.  I welcome all feedback and will respond to each comment.